News

People Are Finding Creative Ways To Protect Themselves From the Coronavirus

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that people cover their faces with non-surgical masks when leaving home, and it appears many Americans are finding creative ways to comply with the recommendation.

Say what you will about the efficacy of the facial coverings shown below, they definitely do qualify as “non-surgical.” They also show that people are taking the threat of the coronavirus seriously, even if their choices in protective gear are on the unconventional side.

Some folks have decided that plastic is the way to go:

This guy went with paper and plastic:

This individual is leaving nothing to chance:

There are definitely some whimsical choices in protective gear out there:

Really?

Yes, that’s a sneaker strapped to his face:

Some guys have opted for creepier attire:

 

Then there’s these two:

The Rona doesn’t seem to be a threat to pets, but one person wasn’t taking any chances:

According to NBC, there was the “striking moment” Monday when Governor  Northam decided to show his constituents how to put on a face mask.

Northam drew controversy and calls for his resignation a year ago when an old college yearbook photo showed him and a friend in blackface and a Ku Klux Klan outfit.

“Upon closer examination, the governor’s face mask appears to be dark green,” the NBC Washington station wrote in another tweet.

Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams recently demonstrated how to create a more conventional, (but decidedly less interesting) face mask than the ones seen above.

News

Michigan Dem Says Chloroquine Saved Her Life, Thanks Trump for ‘Making it a Priority’

A Democrat state representative from Detroit, Michigan, who has been battling the coronavirus for weeks, is crediting hydroxychloroquine for saving her life, the Detroit Free Press reported on Monday.  State Rep. Karen Whitset thanked President Trump —even as the corporate media continued to criticize him for touting an “unproven” drug—because she would not have asked for it unless he had brought it up.

Whitset and her husband have both suffered a range of symptoms—including swollen lymph nodes, and shortness of breath—since March 18, according to the Free Press.

She started taking taking hydroxychloroquine in combination with antibiotics on March 31.

Whitset told the news outlet that she started feeling relief in “less than two hours,” although she is still experiencing headaches.

Whitsett said she was familiar with “the wonders” of hydroxychloroquine from an earlier bout with Lyme disease, but does not believe she would have thought to ask for it, or her doctor would have prescribed it, had Trump not been touting it as a possible treatment for COVID-19.

Trump, at his daily coronavirus briefings, has repeatedly touted the drug in combination with the antibiotic azithromycin, despite criticism from health professionals that it is unproven and potentially dangerous. There have also been complaints that Trump’s remarks have resulted in a shortage of the drug for those people who normally use it for its recommended purposes.

But the freshman lawmaker had only praise for Trump’s comments about the potential benefits of the drug.

“It has a lot to do with the president … bringing it up,” Whitsett said. “He is the only person who has the power to make it a priority.”

When asked if she thinks Trump may have saved her life, Whitsett said: “Yes, I do,” and “I do thank him for that.”

Whitsett said her husband works as an engineer at Detroit Metropolitan Airport and the couple believes he was exposed at work. He is still awaiting the results of his COVID-19 test, she said.

She’s also lost people close to her through COVID-19 — a fellow Detroit lawmaker and a member of the clergy, among others — and said the entire experience has been scary.

“This is a very uncertain time,” she said. “As a lawmaker, I want to be sure, but I’m not always sure.”

The governor of Michigan initially restricted the use of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to treat patients suffering with the coronavirus, but reversed course last week after the Food and Drug Administration approved the emergency use of the drugs for COVID-19 patients.

On Monday, a major medical society also endorsed using hydroxychloroquine for seriously ill coronavirus patients.

The American Thoracic Society, which specializes in the treatment of respiratory diseases, issued the following guidelines for COVID-19 patients with pneumonia:

“To prescribe hydroxychloroquine (or chloroquine) to hospitalized patients with COVID-19 pneumonia if all of the following apply: a) shared decision-making is possible, b) data can be collected for interim comparisons of patients who received hydroxychloroquine (or chloroquine) versus those who did not, c) the illness is sufficiently severe to warrant investigational therapy, and d) the drug is not in short supply,” the Thoracic Society said.

Availability of the life-saving drug was threatened last week, when India banned exports of all forms of hydroxychoroquine in order to preserve supplies for domestic use. Nearly half of the supply of the drug to the U.S. comes from India.

But the Asian nation reportedly agreed to make an exception for the United States after President Trump talked to Indian Prime Minister Modi.

 

News

Biden Vows to Wear a Mask in Public

Politico reports, “Joe Biden said he will wear a mask in public as recommended by the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines in order to protect himself against the coronavirus pandemic, he announced.”

On Sunday, the former vice president and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee repeatedly said to: “Follow the science.”

“It’s important to follow the science. Listen to the experts. Do what they tell you,” he said on ABC’s “This Week.” “So if I go out in public — and I haven’t gone to commercial places of late, I haven’t gone to my local church, etc. … My generic point is, you should follow the science.“

The CDC has previously said that healthy people did not need to wear masks because it would not protect them from contracting the disease. However, on Friday the recommendation was changed after new research released indicated it can help asymptomatic people from knowingly spreading the virus to others.

“We now know from recent studies that a significant portion of individuals … can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms. This means that the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity — for example, speaking, coughing, or sneezing,” CDC said in a statement.

At a news conference, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams admitted the government’s guidance on masks “has been confusing to the American people.”

Trump clarified this was an optional public health measure. “This is voluntary. I don’t think I’m going to be doing it,” the president told reporters on Friday.

News

France: Police Investigating Knife Attack as Terrorism

Two people were knifed to death and five more wounded in a knife attack in south-east France Saturday in what officials are investigating as a terror attack, New York Post reports.

The attacker entered a tobacconist shop in Romans-sur-Isère, South of Lyon, and stabbed the owners and a customer.  He then attacked more people at two other shops before being arrested. The attacker, who has not been identified, was apprehended near the scene of the attack as he was kneeling on the ground and praying in Arabic, according to France’s counter-terrorism prosecutor’s office.

The victims were people who had ventured out of their homes to go shopping for groceries during the countrywide coronavirus lockdown. Two of the wounded are said to be in a critical condition.

He began his brutal spree by slitting the throat of a man who had just left for a walk — in front of the victim’s girlfriend and son. He then made his way to a tobacco shop, where he stabbed the tobacconist and two customers before entering a butcher shop. There, he grabbed another knife and attacked a woman with the blunt end of the weapon as shoppers sought refuge.

The butcher’s shop owner, Ludovic Breyton, said: “He took a knife, jumped over the counter, and stabbed a customer, then ran away. My wife tried to help the victim but in vain.”

The prosecutor’s office said in a statement that initial investigations suggest the attacker had “a determined murderous course aimed at seriously disturbing public order by intimidation or terror,” the BBC reported.

President Emmanuel Macron described the attack as an “odious” incident that further saddened a country already going through an ordeal.

“My thoughts are with the victims of the attack in Romans-sur-Isère as well as the wounded and their families,” Macron tweeted. “All the light will be shed on this odious act…”

Prosecutors said the suspect was a Sudanese refugee in his 30s who lived in the town. Police said, two other people have also been arrested.

News

After Pastor Arrest, Louisiana Church Holds Sunday Services

“A Baton Rouge, Louisiana pastor arrested just last week for violating the state governor’s stay-at-home order held worship services again on Sunday at Life Tabernacle Church,” reports The Daily Caller.

Despite Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards’ ban on gatherings of 10 or more people, Pastor Tony Spell told church-goers at the Life Tabernacle Church that they had “nothing to fear but fear itself.”

While Spell’s attorney told Reuters that parishioners remained 6-feet apart except for immediate family, many of the hundreds of attendees reportedly rode 26 buses which were sent to pick up congregants for church.

“They would rather come to church and worship like free people than live like prisoners in their homes,” said Spell, speaking to reporters about his decision.

“Could it be that it is worse than the people who have already contracted this virus and died?” the pastor added, referring to the anxiety and depression caused by weeks of home confinement.

Joe Long, a civil rights lawyer and spokesman for Spell who  is reportedly preparing a lawsuit against Edward’s said he believed the governor’s March 22 order violates U.S. constitutional rights to freedom of religion and to peaceably assemble, noting 16 states have religious exemptions to stay-at-home orders.

“We believe the governor is wrong. And we look forward to proving our case in court,” Long said.

While Louisiana includes worship services in its ban on gatherings, other states, including Ohio, Texas and Pennsylvania, have chosen to exempt religious gatherings.

In an executive order released by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott last week, “essential” activities included “everything listed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in its Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce, Version 2.0, plus religious services conducted in churches, congregations, and houses of worship.”

Police arrested Spell on March 31 and charged him with six misdemeanors for violating Edward’s executive order.

According to Reuters some other Christians around the United States defied similar rules and observed Palm Sunday at church.

News

Housekeeping Staff, Arrested for Stealing Medical Supplies

A housekeeping worker at an Arizona hospital has been fired from his job, and subsequently arrested, for stealing and hoarding medical supplies in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, as ABC News reports.

The suspect is 49-year-old Keith Brown, who worked at the Yavapai Regional Medical Center in Prescott, Arizona. He was arrested and charged with one count of theft and one count of fraud, after police discovered $1,700 worth of medical equipment in his car and his house. Brown was fired from his job shortly after the arrest.

Among the items he was hoarding were “gloves, hand sanitizer, scrubs, wash cloths, paper towels, masks, bleach cleaner, toilet paper, and an automatic hand sanitizer,” according to Lieutenant Jon Brambila of the Prescott Police Department.

Police are cooperating with the hospital to expedit a return of the stolen equipment once they are determined to be safe to use. Yavapai County has recorded 43 cases of the coronavirus since the outbreak started.

News

Attorney General Barr Seeks to Move Inmates Out of Federal Prisons Vulnerable to Coronavirus

In a memo sent to the Bureau of Prisons on Friday night, Attorney General William Barr announced his intentions to systematically move prisoners out of three federal prisons that are at risk of being hit by the coronavirus, as reported by USA Today.

Barr specifically pointed to three federal prison facilities: The Oakdale Federal Correctional Institution in Louisiana, the Federal Correctional Institution Danbury in Connecticut, and the Federal Correctional Institution Elkton in Ohio. Barr urged the BOP to “move with dispatch in using home confinement when appropriate to move more vulnerable inmates out of these institutions.”

Barr’s decision was motivated by language in the recently-passed $2.2 trillion stimulus bill, which gave him more leeway to relocate older and ill prisoners who are more vulnerable to the virus than the average inmate.

“For all inmates whom you deem suitable for home confinement,” Barr’s memo continued, “you are directed to immediately process them for transfer and then immediately transfer them following a 14-day quarantine at an appropriate BOP facility.”

Barr’s move to transfer prisoners to home confinement and other less vulnerable facilities is a drastically different approach from several Democratic governors in the country who are outright releasing prisoners back onto the streets, including Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) and Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.).

News

China Sells Four Billion Masks to Other Countries, Only 1,000 Ventilators to U.S.

China, in an effort to save its own reputation following the global outbreak of the coronavirus, has been selling medical equipment to other countries. But it has recently come under fire for not selling enough equipment to certain countries, as well as selling faulty equipment in massive numbers.

First, Breitbart reports that China has sold only 1,000 ventilators to the United States since the outbreak began, with those ventilators going to New York state. Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) praised China for the donation despite the small number, saying that “we finally got some good news today,” and that “this is a big deal.”

Globally, China has sent out approximately 3.86 billion masks to other countries, as well as 37.5 million pieces of other protective clothing, an additional 15,000 ventilators, and 2.84 million testing kits.

But multiple countries around the world, particularly in Europe, have reported that much of the medical equipment sent by China has proven defective. The Netherlands issued a recall of over 600,000 masks out of a shipment of 1.3 million, since those masks “did not meet quality standards.” In Spain, thousands of test kits were rejected after they proved to be unreliable.

In both cases, Chinese spokespeople fired back and shifted the blame onto the recipient countries, claiming that they had told the Netherlands that “the masks are non-surgical,” and argued that Spain’s claims “did not reflect the full facts.”

 

News • Uncategorized

Morning Greatness: Media Pounce on Trump Promotion of Hydroxychloroquine

Good Monday morning.

Here is what’s on the president’s agenda today:

  • The president has lunch with the Vice President
  • 5:00pm Members of the Coronavirus Task Force hold a press briefing

The media is going bananas over Trump’s support of hydroxychloroquine

Hydroxycholorquine, in conjunction with azithromycin (a z-pac) has been shown in some cases to prevent the Chinese virus from advancing. The president was encouraging people to try it, or rather doctors since people can’t go buy the drug duo, They need a prescription. Yesterday at the daily press conference, several members of the press kept sniping at him, saying the drug is “unproven.” Hydroxychloroquine is already used for other things like Lupus and Malaria and it is contraindicated for people with heart conditions but other than that, what’s the issue with trying it? It’s not an expensive drug.

CNN wants you to know: “Experts do not suggest taking hydroxychloroquine as a preventive for Covid-19 because there is no evidence yet to suggest it protects against contracting the virus.” Really? Because it is already being used now…by experts. It’s literally being used. Will it work? I don’t know, I’m not a doctor but it sure looks to be successful in some situations so why is the media freaking out? The FDA has given an “emergency use authorization” and said that “anecdotal reports suggest that these drugs may offer some benefit.”

In a recent French study that supporters of hydroxychloroquine have cited, doctors gave the drug to 26 people with confirmed coronavirus infections, including some with no symptoms. Six also received the antibiotic azithromycin.

Some of the 26 were not counted in the final results because they didn’t complete the study — what’s known as “lost to followup” — but they included three who worsened and were sent to intensive care, one who died a day after later testing negative for the virus and one who stopped treatment because of nausea, the researchers said.

After six days, no patients given hydroxychloroquine plus azithromycin had the virus detected in swabs from the back of the nose, versus 57 percent of those given the malaria drug alone and 12.5 percent of some other patients who received neither drug, according to the study.

Again, I’m not a medical professional, but shouldn’t these decisions be left to doctors?

Some states have outlawed the use of the medicine outside of hospitals but that seems sort of stupid since we don’t want people draining our medical resources by going to the hospital.

Axios reports there was a big fight within the the Chinese virus task force about the drug, “pitting economic adviser Peter Navarro against infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci.” This story is clearly a hit on Navarro.

According to the report, Navarro passed around papers, “And the first words out of his mouth are that the studies that he’s seen, I believe they’re mostly overseas, show ‘clear therapeutic efficacy,'” said a source familiar with the conversation. “Those are the exact words out of his mouth.” Fauci responded “saying that there was only anecdotal evidence that hydroxychloroquine works against the coronavirus.”

Navarro started raising his voice, and at one point accused Fauci of objecting to Trump’s travel restrictions, saying, “You were the one who early on objected to the travel restrictions with China,” saying that travel restrictions don’t work. (Navarro was one of the earliest to push the China travel ban.)

Axios reports, “Eventually, Kushner turned to Navarro and said, ‘Peter, take yes for an answer,’ because most everyone agreed, by that time, it was important to surge the supply of the drug to hot zones.” So what’s the big deal about the drug if they are sending it around to hot zones? It’s so annoying in times of crisis that we have to put up with the media trying get anti-Trump scooby snacks.

Related:
Trump Pushes Lupus-Coronavirus Study, But The Evidence Is Mixed

Miscellaneous Chinese virus links:
Oh. Police arrest hospital aide in thefts of equipment, supplies
Trump: ‘Going to be a lot of death’ in U.S. next week from coronavirus
Jerome Adams Predicts Coronavirus ‘Pearl Harbor Moment’ In Coming Weeks
Dr. Deborah Birx warns hotspots will see a spike in coronavirus deaths over next 6-7 days
Fauci: US is ‘struggling’ to get coronavirus under control and to say otherwise would be wrong
Rep. Devin Nunes on Trump considering second task force to reopen economy
China Says it has Sold Nearly Four Billion Masks Abroad
China Donates 1,000 Ventilators to New York
‘Lost The Credibility’: WHO Faces Mounting Backlash For Running Interference For China
Chelsea Handler Questions if It’s Ethical and Safe to Air Trump Coronavirus Briefings
No parties, no problem: Introverts don’t mind sheltering at home
New York state reports 594 coronavirus deaths in past 24 hours
New York governor sees ‘return to normalcy’ with rapid coronavirus testing
Maryland governor issues emergency order in response to coronavirus spread in nursing homes
Kentucky governor says it’s ‘very hard’ to compete with federal government for medical equipment
Feds send ventilators to coronavirus hot spots around country
J.B. Pritzker Still Blaming Trump For GOP Governors Slow To Enact Stay-At-Home Orders
Trump hits Illinois governor after criticism: ‘I hear him complaining all the time’
Was The Stockpile Shortage Under Obama A Result Of The Tea Party? Not So Fast
Louisiana Church Holds Sunday Services Again Despite Pastor’s Arrest
Cuomo evokes Trump in war with Schumer over coronavirus funding
Judges balk at mass release of California prisoners over virus danger
He doesn’t go in public. Biden: I will wear a mask in public
Wisconsin voters still expected to head to polls Tuesday despite coronavirus
White House: Americans should avoid grocery shopping as coronavirus hits apex
Dr. Anthony Fauci says it’s likely coronavirus will become ‘seasonal’
Fauci said he tested negative for coronavirus Saturday
Trump claims ‘Corrected Fake News’ after Germany backtracks on ‘piracy’ claim
Woody Harrelson among stars sharing COVID-19 conspiracy theories tied to 5G
Walmart now limiting how many shoppers can enter stores as part of coronavirus response
Pink says she tested positive for coronavirus and is now negative, pledges $1M to crisis
AG William Barr expediting release of vulnerable inmates at federal prisons swamped by coronavirus
Where to buy the materials to make masks at home
How safe is your takeout food during the coronavirus pandemic?
Clyburn says House committee on coronavirus stimulus spending will not look at past: ‘The crisis is with us’
Nebraska docs urge statewide coronavirus stay-at-home order, predict thousands of cases have gone undetected
Amid coronavirus, George W. Bush’s 2005 pandemic warning resurfaces, may underscore slip-ups by successors
Pentagon mandates all workers wear face coverings to protect against coronavirus
Gimme a break. Companies are making their own safety rules as the federal government stands aside
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson admitted to hospital
Rural hospitals rely on big-city safety nets. Coronavirus means there may be no one to save them
If you want to shut everything down for safety reasons, don’t be surprised about lost jobs. A mounting casualty of coronavirus crisis: Health care jobs
HIT PIECE U.S. ‘wasted’ months before preparing for virus pandemic

Other morsels:
Outgoing U.S. intel watchdog fired by Trump says he acted appropriately
Good, glad this guy was fired. Trump defends decision to fire Ukraine watchdog Michael Atkinson, despite bipartisan concerns
Buh bye. Former intelligence community watchdog addresses recent firing
Esper: Dismissal of aircraft carrier commander an ‘example of how we hold leaders accountable’
AGs Give Conflicting Views On Future Of Antitrust Probe Targeting Google As States Respond To Virus Spread
Two knifed to death in France in what police are investigating as terror attack
Russian man allegedly shot, killed 5 neighbors because they were talking too loudly, reports say
Yikes. Tiger at NYC’s Bronx Zoo tests positive for coronavirus

And that’s all I’ve got, now don’t go to the grocery store!

News

Trump Campaign Donates Meals to Hospitals

The Trump campaign has been anonymously donating thousands of meals to hospitals to thank frontline staff during the coronavirus outbreak, according to Fox News

Since last week, the president’s reelection campaign “has been calling local restaurants and ordering large amounts of food to be sent to hospitals across the country, including in the pandemic hot spots of New York, New Jersey, Washington state, and Michigan.” The campaign has been placing these orders anonymously, Fox News learned.

“They’re doing it as a donor who cares,” one source told Fox News. “So nothing politically is tied to it. … We’re just trying to, you know, show a thank you.”

Another source said, “They’re trying to send things that are like, local restaurants that may need support [and] cool restaurant icons of the area that may need the business.”

The source told Fox News that the campaign has spent tens of thousands of dollars and they plan to expand in the coming days and weeks.

Several establishments confirmed the orders were indeed placed anonymously. Giovanni’s Italian Deli in Secaucus, N.J., told the outlet that an anonymous individual placed an order for delivery to Hudson Regional Hospital. It included 40 platters of pasta, salads, and sandwiches.

“They only told us their first name,” an employee of Giovanni’s told Fox News on Thursday. “They called us, and they had us donate meals for the nurses and doctors — an assortment of things, 40 platters of pasta, salads, sandwiches.”

The employee added: “We’re happy to do it. Trust me.”

Fox news reports, orders were also placed with Nick’s Grill in Kirkland, Wash.; Chit Chat Diner in Morristown, N.J.; Turning Point of Long Branch, N.J.; and Antonio’s Trattoria in the Bronx, N.Y., among others.

The manager of Antonio’s Trattoria, said that a man called the restaurant Monday to have “100 individual orders” delivered to Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx.

“It was 20 penne vodkas, 20 pastas with tomato sauce, 30 chicken parmesans, and 30 house salads with grilled chicken,” the manager told Fox News. “He only gave his first name and said he wanted to remain anonymous.”

An Instagram post from the Chit Chat Diner said: “An anonymous donation providing lunch to some hard working staff at Hackensack Hospital this afternoon. We are so grateful. #njstrong #prayersforeveryone#wewillgetthroughthis #letsallbewell#stayhome  #stayhealthy

The campaign plans to continue placing the orders to feed medical personnel, as the pandemic continues to strain the country’s hospital system.

News

Walmart, Target, Costco Told to Stop In-Person Sales of Non Essential Items in Vermont

Walmart, Target, and Costco were ordered on Tuesday to halt the sale of “non-essential” products in their brick-and-mortar locations to reduce the potential spread of the coronavirus, according to a state government agency, The Epoch Times reports. 

The Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development said Tuesday that the three chains, as well as other “big box” stores, need to “cease in-person sales of non-essential items in order to reduce the number of people coming into the stores” amid the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) virus pandemic.

“Large ‘big box’ retailers generate significant shopping traffic by virtue of their size and the variety of goods offered in a single location,” said agency Secretary Lindsay Kurrle in a statement. “This volume of shopping traffic significantly increases the risk of further spread of this dangerous virus to Vermonters and the viability of Vermont’s health care system.”

Kurrle said the move will allow the state to put “public health first” and reduce the number of people in stores.

The order excluded retailers “serving basic human needs” such as grocery stores and pharmacies, recommending only that they conduct business online and through curbside pickup “to the extent possible.”

“Items considered nonessential by the state include arts and crafts, beauty supplies, carpet and flooring, clothing, consumer electronics, books, music, movies, furniture, home and garden items, jewelry, paint, photo services, toys, and sports equipment,” according to KAKE.

The stores now have to “restrict access to non-essential goods,” and “stores must close aisles, close portions of the store, or remove items from the floor,” according to the agency. “Except in the event of emergencies threatening the health and welfare of a customer, showrooms and garden sections of large home improvement centers should be closed,” it says.

News

March Sets Record For Firearm Background Checks

The FBI ran a record number of gun background checks on Americans in March as Americans armed themselves amid growing fears about the coronavirus pandemic.

According to The Daily Caller:

The March 2020 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 2,375,525 is an increase of 80.4 percent compared to the March 2019 NAAF-adjusted NICS figure of 1,317,114. For comparison, the unadjusted March 2020 FBI NICS figure 3,709,562 reflects a 42.4 percent increase from the unadjusted FBI NICS figure of 2,604,927 in March 2019.

The first quarter 2020 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 4,841,126 reflects an increase of 41.8 percent over the 3,414,361 figure for first quarter 2019.

Please note: Twenty-five states currently have at least one qualified alternative permit, which under the Brady Act allows the permit-holder, who has undergone a background check to obtain the permit, to purchase a firearm from a licensed dealer without a separate additional background check for that transfer. The number of NICS checks in these states does not include these legal transfers based on qualifying permits and NSSF does not adjust for these transfers. Recently, the states of Alabama and Michigan had law changes that affected their Brady Law standing which removed qualifying alternate permits usage for firearm transactions. These changes went into effect July 22, 2019 for Alabama, and March 3, 2020 for Michigan. In March 2020, Alabama state’s NSSF-adjusted NICS was 212.1 percent higher than March 2019, which accounts for an additional 41,348 checks over this time last year. March 2020 NICS numbers for Michigan were up 210.8% over March 2019 and account for an additional 57,599 checks.

These numbers represent the number of firearm background checks initiated through the NICS but not the number of firearms sold or sales dollars. Some people getting a check may buy several firearms at once or within a one month period.

“This is overwhelming evidence that Americans value their ability to take responsibility for their own safety in times of uncertainty,” said Mark Oliva, spokesman for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which represents gunmakers. “The figures are simply eye-popping.”

News

Doctors Rate Hydroxychloroquine ‘Most Effective’ Coronavirus Therapy in International Poll

A newly released international poll has found that doctors around the world prefer using hydroxychloroquine, the drug touted by President Trump, to treat patients with the coronavirus, according to the Washington Times.

In a survey of of 6,227 physicians in 30 countries, 37 percent rated hydroxychloroquine as the “most effective therapy” to fight the virus from a list of 15 options.

The survey, which was conducted by Sermo, a global health care polling company, also found that the most commonly prescribed treatments for COVID-19 patients are analgesics (56%), azithromycin (41%) and hydroxychloroquine (33%).

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave chloroquine and its next-generation derivative, hydroxychloroquine, emergency-use authorization Monday for treating the novel coronavirus, although the drug was already being used off-label by some doctors and hospitals for COVID-19 patients.

Azithromycin, known by the brand name Zithromax or Z-Pak, was rated the second-most effective therapy at 32%, followed by “nothing,” analgesics (including acetaminophen), anti-HIV drugs and cough medicine.

Hydroxychloroquine, which is sold under the brand name Plaquenil, was prescribed mainly in the United States for the most severe cases, but not so in other countries.

“Outside the U.S., hydroxychloroquine was equally used for diagnosed patients with mild to severe symptoms whereas in the U.S. it was most commonly used for high risk diagnosed patients,” the survey found.

The survey results weren’t all good news. It also found that 63 percent of U.S. physicians believe that the epidemic’s peak is still at least 3-4 weeks away. A whopping 83 percent of global physicians believe there will be a second global outbreak, “including 90% of U.S. doctors but only 50% of physicians in China.”

As a vaccine for the virus is still a year or more away, this endorsement of the hydroxychloroquine remedy is welcome news, although several doctors in the United States have already gone on the record to spread the word about the drug’s benefits in treating COVID-19 patients.

President Trump was savaged in the media last month after he touted the “unproven” drug as a promising treatment and potential “game-changers” in the war against the coronavirus.

Like children with oppositional defiant disorder, media critics ganged up on the president, accusing him of peddling “snake oil” and giving Americans “false hope.”  Twitter at one point actually removed a tweet from Fox News host Laura Ingraham touting hydroxychloroquine as a potential cure. All because “Orange Man Bad” had promoted it.

Communications strategist Drew Holden flagged numerous tweets highlighting the media’s anti-hydroxychloroquine bias in a lengthy Twitter thread.

 

News

Republicans Blast Pelosi’s Partisan Coronavirus Panel: ‘The B.S. Never Ends’

Republicans are hitting back hard at the Democrats’ latest attempt to hobble Trump’s presidency.

On Thursday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the creation of the House Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis, a panel that will purportedly provide oversight of coronavirus stimulus spending.

Pelosi said this committee is designed to address the “here and now” — specifically concerning the allocation of the historic amount of federal funds directed to economic recovery.

Republicans view the panel as a purely partisan move that isn’t necessary because there are already numerous oversight measures in the $2 trillion stimulus bill passed by Congress last week.

Byron York in The Washington Examiner suggested that the real reason for the new panel is to find fault with the president’s response to the pandemic. “Pelosi’s announcement came a day after House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff called for a 9/11-style independent commission to investigate ‘mistakes’ in the virus response,” York wrote.

Shortly after that, Schiff told the Washington Post that in Congress, House Democrats must investigate the Trump administration’s handling of virus testing and the government’s distribution of personal protective equipment for healthcare workers.

“We need to make sure there’s no favoritism in terms of political allies, no discrimination against states or governors based on lack of presidential flattery,” Schiff said, indicating the probe would be aimed squarely at President Trump.

“It’s the same old, same old,” said Rep. Jim Jordan, ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee. “They never miss a beat to get political and go after the president.”

The new committee will be headed by Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C), the very same congressman who called the coronavirus relief bill a “tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy also expressed concerns about the choice of Clyburn to lead the panel.

“This isn’t about oversight, it sounds like pure politics,” McCarthy said on “Fox & Friends” Friday morning. “Let’s take care of the crisis at hand right now. We have five different oversights already looking at this and this is what she comes up with?”

The president wearily expressed dismay with the Democrats’ latest anti-Trump gambit during his coronavirus task force briefing on Thursday. “I want to remind everyone here in our nation’s capital, especially in Congress, that this is not the time for politics, endless partisan investigations. Here we go again,” Trump said. “They’ve already done extraordinary damage to our country in recent years.”

The president stressed that “the people doing the witch hunts have been losing, and they’ve been losing by a lot.”

Trump on Thursday also blasted  Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) in a very Trumpian letter Thursday.

“If you spent less time on your ridiculous impeachment hoax, which went haplessly on forever and ended up going nowhere (except increasing my poll numbers), and instead focused on helping the people of New York, then New York would not have been so completely unprepared for the ‘invisible enemy,'” Trump wrote.

The president’s oldest son, Donald Trump Jr., on Twitter called the congressional Democrats “a disgrace.”

“Th[e] BS never ends. Are you kidding us now Dems??? You’re a disgrace,” Don Jr. tweeted.

And Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz scorched Democrats on Fox News’ Hannity Thursday night, saying they are targeting the president again because they’re “jealous and out of power.” The congressman added that Dems are “reverting to the muscle memory of their impeachment strategy, where they focused on subpoenas rather than solutions and investigations rather than ICU bed capacity.”

“We really see what Democrats are actually fighting for—not our healthcare workers, not empowering our states and local communities, but things like $350 million for illegal aliens, migrants and refugees rather than the American people and the American worker,” he said.

 

News

Hospitals Already Facing Potential Lawsuits Over Coronavirus

Even as the coronavirus outbreak continues, some hospitals and doctors are already preparing for the possibility of facing lawsuits over the deaths that have happened on their watch, according to the New York Post.

Lawyers are already advising such facilities and medical personnel on how to navigate such potential lawsuits, which may arise from split-second decisions on which patients to save when multiple patients are in critical condition. One such lawyer, Nick Oberheiden, told Bloomberg that he recommended having “clear written policies that do not discriminate or single out certain patients based on age, gender, race, or any of those unlawful, suspect criteria.”

As shortages of supplies in some areas lead to immediate life-or-death decisions that may ultimately see some patients saved while others die, Oberheiden recommends that doctors and hospitals maintain documents of every decision that is made when it comes to select treatment, as well as the distribution of equipment and medicine to certain patients, so that their rationale can always be explained after the fact.

News

FDA Lifts Restrictions on Who Can Donate Blood During Coronavirus Outbreak

To deal with potential shortages in blood donors, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced that it was lifting certain restrictions on who is allowed to give blood, as reported by CNN.

Among the groups who were previously prohibited from donating blood are gay men, women who have had sex with gay men, and people who had recently gotten tattoos or piercings. While these groups originally had to wait one year to donate blood, they now have to wait only three months, and must still undergo tests to confirm that they do not have such diseases as HIV.

Dr. Peter Marks, the Director of the Center for Biologics and Evaluation Research at the FDA, said that people who are taking drugs to prevent contracting HIV may also be permitted to give blood, but those decisions are ultimately to be made by individual donation centers.

The changes were made due to an “urgent” shortage of blood donations in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic. “We expect that the updated guidance and alternative procedures will help increase the number of donations moving forward,” Dr. Marks said in a statement, “while helping to ensure adequate protections for donor health and maintaining a safe blood supply for patients.”

News

Over 3.4 Million People Traveled to U.S. During First Months of Coronavirus Outbreak

An analysis of travel records from various government agencies has revealed that 3.4 million people came into the United States during the first few months of the initial coronavirus outbreak, as reported by Breitbart.

The information comes from a compilation of information from the Department of Commerce and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which found that of the 3.4 million who entered the U.S during the months of December, January, and February, nearly 760,000 of them came from China. Of that amount, 228,000 were American citizens returning from trips to China, while the remaining 532,000 were Chinese nationals visiting for either business, tourism, or family visits.

During that same period, approximately 343,400 came into the country from Italy, 414,900 came from Spain, and nearly 2 million came from the United Kingdom. President Trump declared a travel ban on China on February 2nd, followed by a travel ban on Iran on March 2nd. He later implemented a travel ban on all of Europe, except for the United Kingdom, on March 13th; the following day, he extended the travel ban to the United Kingdom.

News

Morning Greatness: Companies Busted Selling Critical Equipment to Overseas Cash Buyers

Good Friday morning.

Here’s what is on the president’s agenda today:

  • President Trump receives his intelligence briefing
  • The president participates in a roundtable with energy sector CEOs
  • 5:00PM  Members of the Coronavirus Task Force hold a press briefing

The latest episode of “Happy Hour” with Julie and Liz is available! This week we talk to investigative journalist, Jordan Schachtel.

What the **** is going on with person protective equipment (PPE)?

On Thursday, Trump used the Defense Production Act to “push 3M and six major medical device companies to produce protective masks and ventilators needed for the coronavirus outbreak, bowing to weeks of pressure to expand the federal government’s use of the emergency statute.” The companies involved include General Electric, Hill-Rom Holdings, Medtronic, ResMed, Phillips and Vyaire Medical. He also signed “an element of the [DPA] against 3M” that would allow FEMA to obtain as many N95 masks as they determine is necessary. We don’t know who was “pressuring” him, we never learn that of course, it seems Trump was trying to make deals with the companies before using the jack boot of the fedgov and when they didn’t play ball, he put on the smack down.

“Today, I have issued an order under the Defense Production Act to more fully ensure that domestic manufacturers can produce ventilators needed to save American lives,” Trump said in a statement.

So what’s the deal with 3M?

“For the last several weeks, we have had a boiler room chasing down 3M authorized distributors [and] brokers representing that they sell the N95 masks, only get to warehouses that are completely empty,” Jared Moskowitz, head of Florida’s Division of Emergency Management said. “[We are] being told that our shipments are on cargo planes and the flights don’t even appear. We are chasing ghosts. I just decided to turn up the heat and tell people what is actually happening in the N95 mask space.”

It appears that 3M is selling their masks to foreign countries rather than American hospitals and heath services in need. “I can’t, other emergency management directors, CEOs of hospitals can’t get this life-saving PPE [Personal Protective Equipment] because a company decided to make a globalist decision and not put America first,” said Moskowitz.

“I thought perhaps maybe what 3M would finally say to me is that they have masks to sell me, but what I actually found out is even more frightening,” he explained. “… Which is that the system is completely broken. 3M has lost total control. What I asked 3M is, are they aware they’re authorized distributors — U.S. companies — are telling me the reason why our orders are being pushed down is because foreign countries are showing up with cash to purchase the orders … not only did they not dispute it, [but] I asked them if they put out any guidance to prevent the behavior and the answer was no,” Moskowitz added.

It seems like depending on foreign revenue has always been the business model for the medical supply industry.

American companies sold more than $17.5 million worth of face masks, more than $13.6 million in surgical garments and more than $27.2 million in ventilators to China during the first two months of the year, far exceeding that of any other similar period in the past decade, according to the most recent foreign trade data available from the U.S. Census Bureau.

“I’m now hearing from distributors that foreign governments are showing up with cash at these factories and bumping everybody else down the line who had orders pending,” Moskowitz told USA TODAY, referencing conversations with brokers who serve as supply chain middlemen.

Related:
Trump administration moving swiftly to address ventilator shortages
New York hospitals rationing ventilators, retrofitting equipment amid crush of coronavirus
FEMA tells lawmakers most new ventilators won’t be ready until June
Fauci and Birx help the dumb orange man with science

CNN has a story describing how our CHINA VIRUS duo Fauci & Birx have helped our poor, stupid president use “science” to make decisions, complete with colorful charts and pictures.

Still, the charts — printed in color and blown up for effect — seemed to work, even as some of Trump’s advisers now question their accuracy. Trump announced hours later he was extending his coronavirus guidelines another 30 days, despite a strong inclination to open the nation for business.

CNN further explains:

But in myriad ways, Fauci and Birx have succeeded where so many in Trump’s ever-rotating cast of aides have not: convincing the President to abandon his instincts, quietly contradicting him in public and remaining — for now — in his good graces. At a post-impeachment moment when the White House appeared intent on elevating loyalists while sidelining careerists, the longtime government officials entered Trump’s orbit and managed to out-argue those with years of experience managing a mercurial boss.

Abandon his instincts? Elevating loyalists? He was elected for his instincts. Do they think Obama didn’t jam loyalists all over the government? All presidents do that. CNN, you are so transparent.

Pelosi, Democrats tired of being side-lined, scheme to dial up resistance with new “task force”

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced a bi-partisan task force “to oversee the Trump administration’s distribution of more than $2 trillion in coronavirus relief funds over the next several months.” Croaked Pelosi in a press call, “Congress has taken an important step in meeting this crisis by passing three bills with over $2 trillion in emergency relief. We need to ensure those dollars are spent carefully and effectively.”

“The panel will root out waste, fraud, and abuse and will protect against price gouging, profiteering, and political favoritism,” Pelosi said.

“Where there’s money there’s also frequently mischief,” the California Democrat added, saying, “We want to make sure there are not exploiters out there.”

Riiiiight.

Pelosi has named James Clyburn (D-SC), recently in the headlines for saying the deadly pathogen crisis was “a tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision.” So, you see where this is going, right? “I have a couple of concerns about this: one who she’s naming, Clyburn. It’s concerning to me because Congressman Clyburn is the one who thought this crisis was an opportune time to restructure government,” said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. “That’s not what you should be doing,” he said. “You should be taking care of the American public, keeping an economy strong just as it was before and moving forward.”

Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) knows what’s going on. “You would think after three years of failed investigations and a sham impeachment that resulted in an acquittal would be enough for Democrats to learn their lesson and move on, but apparently even a global pandemic and crisis the likes of which our country has never seen before isn’t enough to stop House Democrats from finding any excuse to continue their harassment of President Trump,” he said.

McCarthy also pointed out: “In the bill that we just passed we had the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, now this is a group of IGs [inspector generals] headed by [acting Inspector General of the Department of Defense] Glenn Fine. We also created the special inspector general for pandemic recovery, and Treasury gave it a $25 million dollar budget, we created the Congressional Oversight Commission inside here where you get an appointment by all the leaders,” he said.

But they have to get back into the news cycle, they need to find their fresh new crop of “whistleblowers” and scandal mongers.

Miscellaneous coronavirus news
Trump officials privately question White House coronavirus death toll estimate: WaPo
States are supposed to handle this, not the fedgov. Governors win high marks for coronavirus response, outpacing Trump
Why Trump took another coronavirus test
Samaritan’s Purse NYC field hospital already treating 12 patients, nurse says: ‘We are giving it 110 percent’
University of Pittsburgh scientists believe they found potential coronavirus vaccine
Hydroxychloroquine rated ‘most effective’ coronavirus treatment, poll of doctors finds
Inside the National Security Council, a rising sense of dread
I hope this isn’t a disaster. Banks warn of chaotic launch of small business lending program
Washington gun shops defy coronavirus orders, stay open without ‘essential’ designation
March Sets Record For NICS Background Checks
This is not the time to be a political jerk. ‘Wrong In Every Way’: Trump Sends Vicious Letter To Chuck Schumer Over Coronavirus Response
Trump tangles with Schumer all day over coronavirus response
Fauci says that all states should have stay-at-home orders
Trump administration issues guidance scaling back paid leave requirement for small business employees
Why? Kushner makes first appearance at coronavirus briefing
This better not happen in my state. Michigan restricts veterinary procedures to save medical supplies
Coronavirus forces San Francisco to put homeless into hotels
New York reels at center of pandemic as home-bound Americans feel economic pain
Rikers Island jail officers union sues New York City over coronavirus
Reporters Express Frustration After OANN’s Chanel Rion Attended Briefing Despite Being Kicked Out For Violating Social Distancing Rules
Hospitals and doctors battling coronavirus already bracing for lawsuits
Facebook pledges $40M for small businesses, introduces new fundraising tools and digital gift cards
Trump campaign donating meals to hospitals during coronavirus crisis
USS Theodore Roosevelt commanding officer relieved of duty, acting Navy secretary announces
California’s Newsom says coronavirus provides ‘opportunity’ to push progressive agenda
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos donates $100M to food banks as unemployment soars during coronavirus outbreak
Only 20 patients currently being treated on USNS Comfort in NYC
Some Americans could wait 20 weeks to receive stimulus checks, IRS tells House Democrats
FEMA still pushing back on taking a leading role in coronavirus supply chain
Everybody is locked up, when is this happening?!? Yang says Asian Americans being attacked over coronavirus is ‘a heartbreaking phenomenon’
FDA changes blood donation guidelines amid urgent need for blood during coronavirus pandemic
Cyber criminals are trying to wreak havoc during global pandemic
Ships with coronavirus patients dock in Florida
Colorado AG steps in after Hobby Lobby defies COVID-19 stay-at-home orderDisaster in motion: 3.4 million travelers poured into US as coronavirus pandemic erupted
Colorado hospital calling for donors to help with experimental, ‘promising’ coronavirus treatment

Other morsels:

GOOD. FISA reauthorizations in doubt after findings that FBI surveillance was riddled with major errors

News

Infectious Disease Specialist Says Use of Coronavirus Drugs Touted By Trump is ‘Absolute Game Changer’

A noted infectious disease specialist who has treated 72 COVID-19 patients with the drugs hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin is claiming  that the combined use of the antimalarial medication and antibiotic are “an absolute game changer” in the war against the disease.

The results have been so promising, Dr. Stephen Smith, founder of The Smith Center for Infectious Diseases and Urban Health, told Fox News host Laura Ingraham that “this could be the beginning of the end of the pandemic.”

During an appearance on “Ingraham Angle” Wednesday night, Smith pointed out that not a single COVID-19 patient that he put on the hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin regimen for five days or more has had to be intubated, a medical procedure that involves putting a tube into a patient’s trachea and placing them on a ventilator for respiratory support. Most of the people, he said, got better after only two days on the drug cocktail.

“The chance of that occurring by chance, according to my sons Leon and Hunter who did some stats for me, are .000-something,” he said, adding that “it’s ridiculously low.”

Amid much media nay-saying, research studies and anecdotal evidence increasingly show that the use of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are extremely effective at treating the coronavirus.

Smith said that his data supports an earlier French study showing that chloroquine taken with the antibiotic is an effective treatment for COVID-19.

“Now you actually have an intra-cohort comparison saying that this regimen works,” he explained.

“I think this is the beginning of the end of the pandemic. I’m very serious,” Smith told Ingraham.

Last week, a Hasidic doctor in upstate New York claimed that he has successfully treated 699 people with moderate coronavirus symptoms.

Dr. Vladimir Zelenko has reportedly been in contact with President Trump’s new chief of staff, Rep. Mark Meadows, and the White House is evaluating the doctor’s protocol.

President Trump was roundly criticized in the media last month after he touted the “unproven” drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine as promising treatments and potential “game-changers” in the war against the coronavirus.

 

News

As Rest of World Deals With COVID-19 Pandemic, China Ups Ante in South China Sea

While the rest of the world deals with coronavirus pandemic it started, China is moving aggressively in the hotly contested South China Sea, according to reports.

China is taking advantage of the power vacuum in the area by deploying large-scale military assets to the South China Sea and conducting military drills, Asia Times reported. This comes amid mounting speculation in the media that COVID-19 may have come from a government lab in Wuhan.

China is “officially celebrating strides made in exploiting disputed energy resources in the fossil fuel-rich sea,” according to the Hong Kong-based news outlet.

While some see China’s nationalistic messaging as a bid to rally its people during difficult Covid-19 times, others view the increasingly aggressive naval maneuvers as a bid to exploit America’s weakened condition to secure new advantage in the hot spot theater.

Rival Southeast Asian claimants are also in a compromised strategic position as they contend with worsening Covid-19 outbreaks.

The Philippines and Malaysia, both at territorial loggerheads with China in the sea, have both recently placed their administrative and commercial capitals under weeks-long, military-enforced lockdowns.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and top security officials including Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana are in self-imposed quarantines, with Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief General Felimon Santos Jr recently testing positive for Covid-19.

The People’s Republic has a history of making “sweeping claims of sovereignty over the sea—and the sea’s estimated 11 billion barrels of untapped oil and 190 trillion cubic feet of natural gas,” antagonizing competing claimants Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam.

While China makes its moves in the disputed territory, United States, the region’s principal security guarantor, has been preoccupied with the world’s biggest reported outbreak of the China flu (over 235,000 cases to date and growing).

The Trump administration last week invoked the Defense Production Act, allowing federal government, including the U.S. military, to be more directly involved in the distribution of much-needed items like ventilators and face masks.

There

Back in February, scientists from the South China University of Technology released a research paper on the origins of COVID-19, leading  to speculation that the deadly virus was created in a Wuhan city lab.

The study confirmed that the virus came from a type of bat that doesn’t live within 900 kilometers of Wuhan and found no evidence that it was being sold at Wuhan’s Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market.

“These scientists interviewed almost 60 people—59 of them—who frequented the Wuhan wet market. They confirm there were no horseshoe bats for sale there—period,” Fox News host Tucker Carlson noted on his show this week.  The scientists said they discovered two labs in the immediate vicinity of the outbreak that were conducting research on bat coronavirus, including the Wuhan Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the national center for China’s bat virus research.

The paper, by researchers Botao Xial and Lei Xiao and titled “The possible origins of 2019-nCoV coronavirus,” was quickly retracted.

Earlier this week, Bill Gertz of The Washington Times highlighted the work of Tian Junhua, a scientist in Wuhan who is touted as a leader in bat virus research.

A State Department official said the reports about Mr. Tian and his role in working with bat viruses are concerning.

“He lives and works at Wuhan’s CDC, a few hundred yards away from the Huanan wet market,” the official said. “He is among the small team in Wuhan that has contributed to China’s obsession in recent years with virus hunting and research.”

Some U.S. and international scientists have dismissed reports linking the new virus to one of China’s research labs. They insist the virus jumped naturally to humans and then began spreading from person to person.

But others say a growing body of evidence indicates the virus may have been under study in a Chinese laboratory and escaped, either through an infection of a worker or through an infected lab animal.

“This is one of the worst cover-ups in human history, and now the world is facing a global pandemic,” said Rep. Michael T. McCaul (R-Texas), a ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.